Roads Focus of May Township Supervisory Board Meeting | New
Roads took center stage at the May Township Supervisory Board meeting on May 6. The staff reported on the roads through the township identified by supervisors and staff during the annual road visit. The two-page list identified areas requiring patching and crack filling, culvert damage, drainage issues, washout areas, broken guardrails, and signage needs.
Council chairman John Adams said one of the main issues facing the township is not enough gravel on 16 roads. “Sand and rock don’t make gravel… I would like people to think about reducing our application of calcium chloride (in the fall) and using the money we don’t spend to add gravel.”
Supervisor Steve Magner asked if there is an improved or improved version of the gravel that the township could purchase that would increase the longevity of the roads. City engineer Katie Koscielak told supervisors that Base One is an option that provides more structure and strength to a road. She will research the cost of a trial application of Base One® on 177th Street. She cautioned that this would not reduce the need for dust control.
The first application of calcium chloride for dust control will be scheduled for the second week of May. The street sweeping was completed and the bill was under budget.
County engineers have completed three (3) preliminary designs for the Norell Avenue North Improvement Project. All three designs keep the 11-foot-wide traffic lanes and follow the current road footprint. All designs include a new paved road surface, striping, and long term repairs to the logging area near Warner Pond.
The main difference between them is the width of the shoulders. Variant 1 has 2 foot wide shoulders throughout. Variant 2 allows for variable shoulder widths (which may be less than 2 feet) to match the width of the existing pavement. Variant 3 has 2 foot shoulders where applicable, but allows the shoulders to match the existing width if needed to reduce impact. Designs require minimal or no removal of trees.
The county is now seeking community feedback on the designs. To review designs and leave a comment, visit the online open house on the Washington County website: https://www.co.washington.mn.us/NorellAvenue. You can also call the Project Manager, Kevin Peterson, at 651-430-4330. Comments will be accepted until May 26.
Nearby parking restrictions
Supervisors approved a resolution in support of a parking ban along both sides of County Highway 11 / Otchipwe Ave N. for a distance of 1,750 feet from the lake boat launch. Big Carnelian. Washington County has started installing parking restriction signage.
Proposal to create a multi-jurisdictional working group on the Sainte-Croix river
John Goodfellow, a Marine resident on St. Croix, came before Council to propose the creation of a multi-jurisdictional task force on the St. Croix River comprised of stakeholder groups from Scandia, Marine and May Township.
Stakeholders could include regulators, local government, the county sheriff and MNR, the park department, recreational user groups, owners of adjacent properties, and those who value the Holy Cross.
Goodfellow said the driving force behind the proposal was a substantial increase in the use of the river and with it increased damage. He had heard concerns from community members about:
• High speed boat traffic,
• Dangerous boat operations,
• Excessive noise levels (including air boats like those used in the Everglades),
• Very powerful lights late at night,
• Camping not authorized in places other than those designated by the park service,
• Erosion and damage to riparian vegetation caused by excessive wakes, and
• Negative impacts on waterfowl, fish and wildlife.
The aim of the task force would be to develop proposals that would improve the St. Croix River experience for the public by identifying problems and potential solutions. The working group would operate for a fixed period of time and present its findings to municipalities and stakeholders before the water recreation season opens in 2022.
Goodfellow approaches the municipal councils of Marine and Scandia in May to seek their support. These three communities form the western border of two-thirds of the panoramic waterway managed by the parks service.
Supervisor Adams asked if there were other entities already doing this work. Goodfellow said the parks service has regulatory power, but there is no agency bringing together various stakeholders to discuss issues of importance to the public.
Supervisors Adams and John Pazlar expressed support and asked Goodfellow to provide additional information.
Supervisor Adams proposed new meeting policies:
• Quick start time at 7pm.
• Maximum duration of the meeting of 3 hours unless extended by a vote of the Board.
• New and external presentations must be provided to the Board 10 days prior to the scheduled meeting.
• External presentations are limited to 10 minutes.
• Citizen considerations will be added to new business.
Members of the Planning Commission
With the election of Steve Magner to the supervisory board, he is no longer part of the planning committee. Jyneen Thatcher wants to retire. The township ordinance requires the planning commission to consist of seven members. Given the difficulty in finding members to sit on the commission, Supervisor Adams suggested reducing the number required to five. The city attorney drafts an amendment to the ordinance. The committee will continue to have two alternates to ensure that it can achieve a quorum.
Supervisors reviewed and approved a sewer system budget of $ 78,716.26 for 2021. Adams noted that the cost of the system has steadily increased. It was $ 50,307 in 2019 and just under $ 66,000 in 2019.
Staff and supervisors discussed an increase in several city code fees, including:
• Minor classification permit – from $ 50 to $ 100
• Outdoor wood-fired boiler permit – from $ 40 to $ 50
• Entrance permit – from $ 50 to $ 100
• Township clerk and treasurer time – from $ 40 to $ 50 / h
• A hard copy of the city code or detailed plan – from $ 50 or $ 60 to $ 100
• CD version of the full plan – discontinued
It was noted that the city code and the comp plan are available online. Supervisor Magner said he didn’t want to stop providing hard copies as there are some people who prefer it. The changes will be voted on next month.
Supervisors voted to keep the township’s contract with the Stillwater Youth Services Bureau for $ 2,500.
Former council chairman Bill Voedisch volunteered to mow half of the city’s park. The township previously hired a company to mow the rest. Supervisor Magner volunteered to provide mowing, trimming and snow removal services for the other half.
Supervisors will meet with municipal staff on Thursday, May 20 at 3:30 p.m. to review suggested zoning code updates.